When you’ve got two massive Marvel movies in Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame, it’s easy to forget that other comic book films did come out already this year. One of those was a pretty big one, too; Lionsgate’s reboot of Hellboy starring Stranger Things’ David Harbour as the big red demon. It’s okay if you actually did forget about it because it was only in wide release for about a week and a half, and has officially wrapped up its theatrical run with a pathetic $21.9M. Fans of the comic hated it, fans of Guillermo Del Toro’s earlier films hated it, and basically this was a disaster all around.
Following up on stories that emerged weeks ago about problems with the Hellboy production, Harbour spoke to at a recent convention (via Digital Spy) and basically confirmed them. However, he did it while sorta complaining that fans are spoiled by Marvel movies and Hellboy was unfairly judged against them. Alrighty then…
“The problem that I have with comic book movies nowadays is that I think, and it’s a result of the power of Marvel stuff, it’s like chocolate, it’s a flavor. It’s like chocolate, it’s a flavor. So everybody goes ‘Chocolate is delicious and these guys make the best chocolate.’ So as you judge the movies, it’s like, ‘Well, it’s not as chocolaty as this; this does not taste like chocolate at all.’ And I want a world where there’s more flavors than just comparisons to chocolate. So in that way, when Hellboy is viewed on the chocolate spectrum, it does very poorly.”
This sounds like one giant excuse for making a movie very few people liked, and to be fair I am one of those people who thought it was okay. It’s a far cry from Del Toro, but I never expected it to come close to those and it didn’t let me down in that regard. Harbour is right that there should be room for more than one kind of comic book movie and different takes on Hellboy, but it still boils down to making a good movie.
Furthermore, Harbour said the film struggled because of those aforementioned on-set difficulties. However, those reports had him as a major source of the trouble, and of course he neglects to mention that…
“We did our best, but there’s so many voices that go into these things and they’re not always going to work out. I did what I could do and I feel proud of what I did, but ultimately I’m not in control of a lot of those things.”
I think we’ve seen the last of Hellboy for a while. There wasn’t a lot of clamor for this one and the pathetic box office reflects it.